Ektau is a wild island only half-tamed by Xianese troops. Still less civilized are those islets that have never known the tramp of Xianese sandals, where adequately brutal men and women can form bands of warriors for whatever end promises loot and rice. Conventional custom dubs these souls "warlords", though most lack the influence necessary to lead more than a handful of grubby renegades. They emerge at the end of every dry season, and are mowed down in turn by Xianese soldiers or ambitious underlings.

But not all warlords are outcasts, and not all turn their leadership acumen to nefarious ends. Some come up through the ranks of the Xianese army, honing their tactical instincts through countless ugly skirmishes. Others are studious young pupils of the art of war, wishing to put into practice the venerable maxims of the Xianese military classics. And a few are simple men and women of the villages, gifted with the ability to inspire others in battle and a brute practicality about killing the most enemies with the fewest allies.

Example Flavorings:

Xianese Sergeant
The Xianese army is a never-ending source of old soldiers, most mustered out for crippling injuries or a weariness of further fighting. Most of these soldiers are content to find a different life, but some grizzled dogs of war can find contentment only in battle. The warlords that spring from this source rarely have any objection to their former employ; they just prefer to fight on their own terms. Their booming voices cut through the din of battle to alert teammates to sudden openings in an enemy's defenses (Commander's Strike at-will), and their long experience in the spear-and-shield armies of Xian teaches them how to set an enemy up so that any retreat must open them to attack (Viper's Strike at-will). They didn't get to retire by being careless, and a pair of seasoned veterans fighting alongside each other can be all but impervious to enemy blows (Guarding Attack per-encounter). And when fighting skittering goblin chieftains, there's no substitute for being able to pin them down and force them to deal with the full weight of the sergeant's men. (Pin the Foe daily power).

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